East Lothian respite centre Leuchie House named as official charity of Scottish Open

Leuchie House respite centre has been named the official charity of the 2021 abrdn Scottish Open which gets under way at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick on Thursday.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 4:55 am

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It means the charity will benefit from a range of fundraising activities during tournament week, as some of the world’s leading golfers including US Open champion and world number one Jon Rahm and major winners Rory McIlroy, Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas tee up in East Lothian

The fundraising will include a Birdie Pledge from title sponsor abrdn and the European Tour of £15 per birdie and £100 per eagle made across the four tournament days.

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Chris Rutterford and Lubi Lykan with the golfing hare which will be in residence at the Scottish Open

Coinciding with the Scottish Open, Leuchie is also raising money through The Big Hare Trail, which sees ten brightly-decorated giant fibreglass sculptures of hares placed at various points in and around North Berwick.

One of the hares has been painted in a traditional hickory golfing outfit by mural artist Chris Rutterford and partner Lubi Lykan. And the golfing hare will be in residence at the Scottish Open before joining the other hares on the trail.

Leuchie House is Scotland’s only dedicated respite centre offering caring respite breaks to people with long term neurological conditions, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease.

It was established as an independent charity in 2011 after a high-profile Save Leuchie campaign when it was threatened with closure. The then manager Mairi O'Keefe was later awarded an MBE for her work in spearheading the work.

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in Scotland, Leuchie House quickly re-provisioned as a step-down service for the NHS, welcoming people who were in hospital but did not require immediate treatment, providing a reassuring environment and freeing up hospital beds which were urgently needed. The charity continues to welcome guests to a Covid safe respite experience.

Leuchie has also benefited from charitable funds raised at the 2018 and 2019 Scottish Opens, which helped with the construction of state-of-the-art wet rooms, transformation of shared bedrooms and the installation of new boilers. Investment was also made in the building’s broadband and wi-fi infrastructure, computers, and emergency call and care planning systems.

Mark Bevan, CEO of Leuchie House, said: “We are thrilled to once again be the official charity of the 2021 abrdn Scottish Open. The tremendous support received from the hosts, organisers, players and spectators in previous years has been transformational for Leuchie.

"Following the immense challenges faced over the last year, the need for respite has never been greater and this year’s funds will help the families we support recover from the impact of the pandemic with a much-needed break and support.”

Rory Colville, championship director of the abrdn Scottish Open, said: “We are delighted to once again partner with Leuchie House as the official charity as they celebrate their tenth year as an independent charity.”

Since 2011, Leuchie House has provided 4,267 respite breaks, supported more than 1,000 families, provided 39,510 respite nights and 5,380 respite days, provided care for more than 35 different conditions and raised over £10 million through donations and grants.

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